Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:14 pm
The Wisconsin Center District has hired JP Cullen & Sons Inc. as the general contractor to build new locker rooms for the Milwaukee Admirals at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena.
The $1.9 million locker room project is part of an overall $6.3 million commitment the Wisconsin Center District made to the hockey team in March when it signed a 10 year lease to play at the 66-year-old arena.
The district will invest $4.3 million and the Admirals will invest $2 million in improvements that include enhancements to the concession areas and concourses and the 50 new lockers that will meet American Hockey League hockey standards.
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee men’s basketball team and the Milwaukee Wave currently share a locker room at the arena, and will continue to do so.
The Admirals’ locker rooms will be built in the lower level of the Panther Arena in a 9,682-square-foot space that is currently used as a storage area for traveling stage acts, such as the Tripoli Shrine Circus.
The Admirals will have 26 lockers and the visiting team will have 24, said John Kaltenberg, project manager at JP Cullen. Kindness Architecture + Planning, based in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward, is designing the project.
Jon Greenberg, president of the Admirals, said they’ve been working with the architect for the past six months to make sure the space has everything the team needs for the approximately 38 games it will be playing at the arena.
The Admirals’ first home game at the Panther Arena is Oct. 29. Training camp starts in early October.
“We’re excited to see what’s going to be developed and get started,” Greenberg said. “We would like to get everything moved in and get the guys used to their new home.”
The Admirals played their last regular season home game at the BMO Harris Bradley Center on April 15, after 28 years. Plans for the new Bucks arena don’t include the hockey team.
Seating in the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena, which can hold 9,652 spectators for hockey, will also be reconfigured for quicker turnaround so scheduling can accommodate both the Admirals and the UWM men’s basketball team.
Construction on the locker rooms is expected to begin in June and will be completed in early October, Kaltenberg said.
Janesville-based JP Cullen was one of seven contractors to bid on the project, said Russ Staerkel, president and chief executive officer of the Wisconsin Center District. The bids were narrowed to three and the winning firm was notified May 13.
The Wisconsin Center District owns and operates the Wisconsin Center convention center, the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena and the Milwaukee Theatre. It will also be responsible for the new Milwaukee Bucks arena once it is built.
The Milwaukee Bucks hired JP Cullen & Sons in February as the general contractor to build the team’s training facility at Sixth Street and Juneau Avenue in downtown Milwaukee.
“We’re really excited to be part of the whole trickle down of changes occurring with the changes happening downtown with the Bucks arena,” Kaltenberg said.